April 2, 2023

More people are now realizing donating blood does not only help recipients but also offers health benefits for the donor.

Among those who knew this all along are Jamie Joie Malingan, 26, of the Philippine Information Agency-Cordillera who has been donating 450 cubic centimeters (cc) of blood every three months since May 2021 and Jonathan Munar, 50, a reporter of Radyo Pilipinas who has donated 45 times already in the last 14 years.

Malingan said donating is her way of giving back after her grandparent benefited from blood donation.

“I have long wanted to give blood because we were able to get blood from the Red Cross when my grandparent needed one before passing away,” Malingan said.

The first time she donated in 2021 was when a co-worker asked for donors of B+ blood type for an emergency.

By donating blood, she said she does not only help others but also stays healthier as it allows her body to produce new blood cells, with studies linking it to lower blood pressure and lower risk for heart attack.

For his part, Munar logged his 45th time donating blood last June 14 in celebration of World Blood Donors Day.

He said he started donating in college as a cadet of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

During mass blood donation activities, students, especially ROTC and National Service Training Program (NSTP) students are usually encouraged to donate blood to inculcate in them the value of volunteerism, giving, and helping save lives through a precious resource that cannot be manufactured.

Dr. Bernard Demot, infectious disease specialist at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, a Department of Health-run hospital, encouraged qualified blood donors to continue the good deeds.

He said blood transfusion benefit people suffering from leukemia, those who undergo surgery, and those having dialysis treatment, among others.

During the rainy season, blood is a needed by patients suffering from severe dengue fever.

The World Health Organization has set the world blood donor day every June 14 to inculcate the value of voluntary blood donation to assure a safe blood supply for all those in need.

Kristine Gale Raguindin, Nurse III at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, said about one percent of the region’s population donates blood.

Records show that in 2016, 1.40 percent of the population donated blood, 1.30 percent in 2017, 1.62 percent in 2018, 1.18 percent in 2019, 1.56 percent in 2020, and 1.49 percent in 2021.

“Cordillerans give blood, especially when needed by a loved one. There are also several who walk in and give their blood every three months,” said Raguindin. – PNA